Saturday, Jun. 22, 2002
Today it got personal.
This past winter was mild by local standards and the snow load wasn't too high which means that there wasn't a very big deer die back this year.
Now I know that most of you who don't actually live with deer have been Bambi-fied by those fiends at Disney and see them as adorable, gentle, big-eyed, long-legged bits of beauty. It's a diabolical lie. Yep, the ruthless corporation that has practically deified the rodent which carries Hanta Virus also misled you about deer.
Deer are the Mongols of the forest, sweeping down upon defenseless gardens, sacking and pillaging them, leaving nothing but stem stubble where once there were glorious plants and flowers.
I Am A Deer Survivor.
Living in the woods as I do, I knew there would be trouble but nothing prepared me for the damage deer do. They regarded my gardens as Marn's All You Can Eat Exotic Plant Buffet and held pigout contests in them.
I tried all the commercial deer repellants. The deer just snickered and kept on munching. I tried all the folk remedies--human hair, scented soap, mothballs ... you name it, I tried it. The deer just snickered and kept on munching.
I used to run out and chase them. Once they realized I couldn't actually hurt them, they'd hold their ground until the last second and then leap into the woods at the edge of our property. They would stand there and watch me until I left to head back into the house. Then they would stroll back into my gardens and resume munching.
It was infuriating.
I was on the point of giving up and culling my landscaping down to the highly scented plants deer loathe, such as bergamot and cranesbill geranium, when Hollywood Saved Me And Showed Me The One True Deer Repellant.
Yep, one day the spousal unit and I rented a movie called "Never Cry Wolf" about a biologist who lived in the Great White North with Canadian wolves. They kept breaking into his camp and stealing his food until he decided to mark out his territory as wolves do, by urinating around it. They left his camp alone after that.
A lightbulb went on over my head. Okay, so it was only 40 watts. Still, it was a lightbulb.
"Hrm," I thought to myself. "If human urine can drive off wolves, could it be that it might also drive off deer?"
Tenderly I turned to the spousal unit, who, being a tripod and all, comes equipped with a personalized urine hose. I coaxed him into peeing into a big two litre coke bottle for The Great Urine Experiment.
(This is not the sort of behaviour I exhibited before marriage of course. No, most of my charming quirks--things some folks might consider raging madness--appeared AFTER he had signed the 'Til Death Do Us Part Contract. For those keeping track, The Great Urine Experiment would be reason #5,432 why he deeply, deeply regrets marrying me.)
Ah, but I digress. Back to The Great Urine Experiment, right? I mean, who amongst us is not yearning to hear the results?
I'm happy to report that urine works.
It works well. To my delight, I also found that the pop-up lid from my liquid dish soap screws on to the bottle, turning it into my very own Handy Dandy Territorial Marker. Taking the lead from my mother-in-law's dog, I just use the equivalent of droplets to ring my flower beds, so the scent is undetectable to human noses. This has been going on for about twenty years now and I've been able to grow anything I want without The Evil Hordes destroying it.
That is, until this year.
I've been using the amber liquid we've christened "No Deer" as usual, but this year we've been having rains of biblical proportions and, well, I guess the scent has been diluted.
I like to begin my days with a morning walk around the gardens, just soaking in the quiet, the beauty, the bird calls. Out by the pond this morning I spotted the first bit of deer damage--hosta had been munched.
Now I know that hosta are like candy to deer and because I have a bazillion of these plants, I figured I could turn the other cheek, forgive them this isolated attack. I made a mental note that I'm going to have to step up the "No Deer" patrols.
No problem, eh.
But then, but then ... but then I went to my main border which is now in the full flush of its spring flowers. One plant, especially, has me almost squealing with joy because it's about to flower for the first time ever after living in my garden for three years.
Yeah, I would be speaking about Baptisia Australis, known as False Indigo by its friends. Actually seeing bloom set has been a big thrill for me. I've been checking its progress for over a week now, ever since I first noticed the dark purple flower tips starting to form.
Today looked to be the day when the flowers would open. I was in quite a tizzy this morning as I approached the small clump of Baptisia.
There are no words for my horror at what I saw--the neat snips on the plant stems right on the stalks that had been about to bloom.
YES, A FREAKING DEER ATE MY BAPTISIA FLOWERS!
A few hosta?
That I can ignore, but eating my Baptisia is the equivalent of the glove slapped across the cheek.
The turned cheek, no less.
Yep, today it got personal.
Revenge must be mine.
Want to delve into my sordid past?
She's mellllllllllllllting - Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 - Back off, Buble - Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 - Dispersed - Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 - Nothing comes for free - Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 - None of her business - Friday, Nov. 04, 2011 -
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